While we normally like to offer a more narrative trip report, we will shift gears this time and focus specifically on some different techniques that worked well. If your familiar with the Badger, you know that Killer Bug variants are among our favorite, most productive fly patterns. This trip was no different; Killer Bug variants tied on #12 barbless hooks proved to be versatile, and the only pattern I needed to catch Browns, Rainbows, Cut-throats, and Brookies exhibiting varied feeding behaviors.
1. Conventional wisdom states that if you have a fish actively feeding on the top, you should offer it a dry fly. Several times now, I've chosen to drift a KB through the feeding zone instead, and successfully drawn strikes. The more active the fish is, the more willing they seem to hit the KB regardless of whether they are feeding on something else. This supports the "hone the zone" concept - put something "food-like" into the correct zone and you'll catch fish, whether or not you have "matched the hatch".
2. While the "dead drift" is an effective primary technique for KBs, they also work exceptionally well when given action and worked across the top of the water. Un-weighted KBs can easily be stripped and twitched across the top, swung in the current, even fished static by holding the fly on the surface downstream from your casting position.
Check out the video below for a look at the trip!